Substance abuse is a big problem that wrecks the lives of people of all ages. Today, it seems that more and more illicit substances are more readily available than ever. The scariest part of all this, at least to me, is how all of this can affect our children; especially teenagers.
As a parent, it's our job to look out for, and to protect, our kids at all costs. We have to lead by example so we can be the positive influence and compass that our children need. When it comes time for our kids to become teenagers, we parents face a whole new level of challenges. We have to make sure our kids are armed with the knowledge to fend off peer pressure, and the confidence to know that they're making the right choices no matter what the other kids are doing.
When it comes to drug prevention, at home substance abuse testing has become a hot topic. Today's post will try to answer some of the questions you might have about how to go about screening your child if it's needed, the overall dangers of teenage drug use, as well as your options. Part two will cover the reasons you should, or should not test your teen.
Drug Use in Teens Is Dangerous - Drug use, overall, is dangerous but it can even be more so as a teen. Even if you feel like your child is the most responsible kid on the planet, you should still take the time to really talk to him or her about the consequences of illicit substance abuse. Talk to them about drinking and driving and show them pictures on the internet of what can happen when you make bad choices. Talk to them about the differences between prescription pain pills and other drugs. Do your best to educate your child and always talk openly about these hard topics.
Should You Drug Test Your Child? - The short answer to this question is yes and no. It all depends on the situation. We will cover this more in part two but, yes, if you suspect your child is using drugs. No, if you have no other reasons other than control and intimidation.
Drug Testing Options - If you find that you do need to have your child screened, you do have a few options. These days, you can find over the counter testing kits at most drugstores, or online. They are really quick and easy to use, generally inexpensive, and require only a urine specimen. There are some limitations as these tests will not detect drugs like inhalants, LSD, MDMA (ecstasy), or ketamine. These are imperfect and can produce false positives under the right conditions. You can also choose to have your child tested by a lab through your pediatrician. These might yield better, or more concrete results.
Be sure to check out part two of this mini series on drug testing your teen. We are going to discuss the reasons that you should, or should not drug test your child. Click here to continue to part two.
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